Dealing with stress/politics at work

rockstar81rockstar81 Member Posts: 151
Any tips for dealing with stress at work or political game playing (avoiding it/not letting it affect you). I would expect most workplaces to have this to a degree - any stories of over coming it/ finding a place it doesn't exist?


  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,781 Mod
    Don't get caught up in the BS-just walk away. Some places (like where I am now) has a great PM who doesn't tolerate things like that.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I think this is a lot easier said than done, and most people will blow this off. But if you get stressed over something just take a step back and think to yourself 'why are you getting so upset/stressed over this' and 'how is getting upset/stressed about this going to be help the situation'.

    I've never understood people when they complain about work politics, it's either I have never seen it or I don't care enough about it if it exists to even give it a second thought.

    I've had a lot of shitty stuff happen to me in my life and getting stressed about most things that happen now seems pointless and petty. It's not going help and just put you in a bad mood. There is always going to bad stuff that happens and not everything is going to work out perfectly for you, s#it happens to everyone, all you can do is work hard to overcome the obstacles and challenges that come your way. Don't let the small stuff stress you out... All you have to do is turn on the news and see real problems that people deal with and how lucky you are.

    stressing about politics at work... #firstworldproblems
  • DeathmageDeathmage Banned Posts: 2,496
    I fix there issues last.... they learn to not bother me after a while...

    don't ***k with the IT guy....
  • NightShade03NightShade03 Member Posts: 1,383 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I'd agree that you can't let it get to you, but also easier said than done. As you move up in the company to higher positions the politics just tend to get worse so you definitely need to find a coping mechanism if you want to survive. I've often times found it cathartic when getting emails that are political/dumb to hit the reply button, remove all emails addresses (so as not to accidentally send a reply), and then just go to town responding to the email with zero filter. It helps alleviate the stress be getting things off your chest and out of your mind either on physical paper or digital paper. The point being that you don't actually send the email, but you de-stress and move on. It it also helpful in situations where you absolutely must respond to the email, but knowing that your first response is going to be hot gives you a chance to cool off and write something more logical and fair minded.
  • danny069danny069 Member Posts: 1,025 ■■■■□□□□□□
    It's so hard not to find BS anywhere you go. I can go on and on about my job. But in this type of situation with politics, bs, etc. you have to focus on yourself. For example, let's see what some of the negatives are at my job: people are up each other's asses...(uh am I allowed to say that or are we TV-PG?) and it's all fake "ohh how are you? omg, you're getting married?" nothing of real substance or compassion, or I'm approved to take the CISSP training course only to have it revoked by the Director of IT because "oh that's a high level networking course, he has to pick something that fits his job description" It's just the way my life works, one big pile of horse manor that keeps on getting bigger day by day. That's fine, but nobody in the world is going to hold me down. Let's look at the positives: I'm going to use them like they're using me, I take advantage of the tuition remission they offer me currently towards my B.S. I have the opportunity to channel my anger and aggression at the gym, perhaps you want to have a positive outlet. Take time for yourself, friends, family, self study for a certification that will get you from where you are now to another position, etc. I use these things as a catalyst to get myself out of a toxic environment and into one with less toxicity. Not to mention doing acts of compassion for others that derive from good intentions.
    I am a Jack of all trades, Master of None
  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 1,879 ■■■■■■■■■□
    You can always bury your head in the sand.
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, and more.

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  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Gaming Tech Expert Silicon Valley, CAMember Posts: 4,016 ■■■■■■■■□□
    It can be challenging as many others have stated. I just try to focus on my work and being able to better myself personally/professionally. I try to keep a positive attitude and my faith and lead by example as best as I can. ;)
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  • alias454alias454 Member Posts: 648
    I find if people have time for interoffice politics they don't have enough work to do. With that said, a few rules have served me well over the years.
    1) Don't say anything behind someone's back that you wouldn't say to their face
    2) Say what you mean and Do what you say
    3) If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all
    4) Stay away from people who don't follow rules 1-3

    Again, it's easier said than done but if you really don't want to be part of the drama, don't participate.

    “I do not seek answers, but rather to understand the question.”
  • gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,743 ■■■■■■■□□□
    In 11 years of IT i've learned that the politics is everywhere - so you'd be better off learning to deal with it...
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    BS/Politics at work, unless it is affecting your ability to do your job or is doing harm to your continued employment at the company, is just something you need to learn to let roll off your back. I have been relearning this lesson this year in particular.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
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  • J_86J_86 Member Posts: 262 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I agree that you just kind of have to learn to deal with it, to a certain extent. Some places are worse then others when it comes to the amount of politics, I've found working for a large enterprise to be the worse so far.
    I've learned to pick and choose my battles . I don't let it get to me. And the end of the day if something does not get done because someone wanted to play games, play politics, and hold a project up for whatever reason. Guess what, it just isn't going to get done.

    Life is too short to let your job get you all worked up about things that you cannot control.
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I have to say it took me a lot of years to get to my current point of taking things not so seriously. I've often found that most of my stress comes from pressure I put on myself. I'd get super worked up and ultimately find that the person who was working me up cared less about the problem then I did. I also tell myself that I'm not in an environment where the problem is live or death or where large amounts of money are on the line. Some jobs are exactly that (life or death or large amounts of money on the line), but not mine so I can't treat it as such.

    As for politics, it is what it is. It's everywhere and I am just myself, which thus far as served me well. I am typically smack in the middle of political games (for better or worse). Ultimately, I just speak my mind and let no one guess where I stand or how I feel. At my current job that has gotten me way more responsibility and respect then my position would typically entail. I attend high level meetings and my opinion carries weight in various situations. As Einstein said, "You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else."
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  • MishraMishra Member Posts: 2,468 ■■■■□□□□□□
    It's human nature for us all not to get along so almost every company has 'drama' or 'politics'. I normally don't speak in absolutes but I would be confident is saying that every company with 1000+ employees has some kind of drama (which is why reality TV is popular). The only companies that you could find working without politics would be shops (like development) in which friends that get along have started a company.

    I would say there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to managing this. It depends on what is going on. But first step is to understand that it happens everywhere and you need to find the positives in people and their help.
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  • Chev ChelliosChev Chellios Member Posts: 341 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Just do what my old colleague used to do and throw a massive strop anytime anyone spoke to him shouting 'IM TOO BUSY!!!!! IM IN THE MIDDLE OF SOMETHING!" etc. People learnt that he was a jerk and not to bother talking to him but he lived a blissful life at work. in all fairness to him. whilst I got all the s**t as I'm too helpful (unfortunately).
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,781 Mod
    and then are the times you are hopelessly drawn into it like a current of water. Like, for instance, I was a temp to hire. A fed thought I was not 'learning' fast enough and I went to the bathroom during training sessions or not taking notes on and on. SHE WROTE me up. I have never been written up. I was in the mdidle of a sh** storm and I could not do anything about it (except start sending out my resume). They had COUNTLESS meetings about this. Towards the end, she was asked it I 'improved' since there were no complaints from her in the past month. she then decided to say again how slow I was yada yada. My rather inept supervisor actually said 'prove it'. So, the next day, I had a slew of emails asking how to do certain procedures (mind you, I was only doing this part of my job 20% of the time..I wasn't even interviewed by her)..Anyway, I answered her emails correctly (she even BC'd my supervisor). It ended up, I was terminated from this position because of this person. Turned out for the best. However, my point is:sometimes, you are just part of a strong current and there is noone that can help or save you. I just kept my head above water (or tried to)..I could not ask her about her allegations since I was just a temp. The annoying part is that she was so nice to my face and would say 'I know it is alot to learn, so don't worry'. That atmosphere was toxic.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 1,879 ■■■■■■■■■□
    @ Chev Chellios - I'm going to try that tactic on our CISO. :D

    @ scaredoftests - Glad that you got out of that atmosphere.
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, and more.

    2021 goals: AZ-303, AZ-304, maybe TOGAF and more ISACA

    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • EagerDinosaurEagerDinosaur Member Posts: 114
    In my case stress/politics at work is what motivates me to study for certifications.

    My workplace is becoming increasingly unpleasant and tense, partly because of possible redundancies, and the fact that much of our interesting development work is being replaced by dull helpdesk work.

    I'm responding by studying like mad for the latest certifications, which will hopefully make it much easier for me to get a job elsewhere. It might also send a message to management (who are the only ones who know about them) that I have options.
  • TWXTWX Member Posts: 275 ■■■□□□□□□□
    gorebrush wrote: »
    In 11 years of IT i've learned that the politics is everywhere - so you'd be better off learning to deal with it...

    Unfortunately this.

    I spent about a decade playing with cars as my principal hobby as I was sick of computers/IT as a hobby after making it my profession.

    Work is much better now, but I know I am a better person for being more well-rounded.
  • varelgvarelg Banned Posts: 790
    Byzantines knew well how to deal with people/kingdoms that stood in their way. Agree with anything and then turn around and work in your best interest.
    Get to know people you work with. What are their goals? Are they colliding with yours?
    Politics can't be avoided.
  • davefrancodavefranco Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Meditation is best way to deal with stress. I do it on regular basis and it really helps me to deal with stress.
  • fullcrowmoonfullcrowmoon Member Posts: 172
    If you're in any kind of Corporate America situation, then it doesn't matter how much work everyone might have or not have, politics are part of the package. I've learned to not bring my ego to work with me, and to focus on getting the job done, whatever it might be. If someone wants to be a prima donna or hold onto their little piece of real estate within the organization, then let them. Taking it personally achieves nothing (other than driving you nuts because other people are being such wanks). I just keep doing my job and document, document, document in the name of CYA.

    Oh, you don't know what your development lab inventory is and now you've got licensing issues? I'm so sorry to hear it - here's the ongoing email thread where I requested an inventory to be done six times, and the refusals from your employees to either 1) do the inventory themselves or 2) let me in to take a look. Oh, not patching that platform resulted in downtime for high-paying customers? Here's the documentation of where they were informed it was necessary and they told me they were too busy. Etc., etc., and so forth.

    Oh, and, the director is ALWAYS right even when he's wrong.
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  • philz1982philz1982 Member Posts: 978
    Workout, eat right, sleep. Those are the basics.

    As for the politics, create allies, influence the right people, and learn the lingo.
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